Thursday, November 11, 2010

Do we praise His Name?

    Perhaps your answer to that question is yes, as mine was when I asked myself that, but then I really started to think about how I actually show that in my life. Yeah, when I pray, I pray in His Name and end in His Name. I don't use the Lord's Name in vain. Really, the only time I use His Name is in adoration of it. I know that most, if not all, of those who claim the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, loves it and cherishes it, but what of those who don't adore His Name and those who curse His Name? When you are out in public it is inevitable to hear the Lord's Name used as a curse word. But...would if you had control of when you did or did not hear His Name being used as a curse word? Would you chose to not hear His Name being used as a curse word?

This brought to my mind the times I had allowed myself, as a lover of His Name, to sit and comfortably watch His Name being used as a curse word for my own entertainment. Perhaps you have never noticed that the majority of new movies uses the Lord's Name as a curse word? I wonder if we are immune, so to say, to hearing Jesus' Name being used as a curse word because we hear it so often in public? I certainly never noticed it in movies until I actually took the time to look into it. I'm not really in to new movies, but I will watch an occasional one with friends and my sisters that we'd considered to be a "good" movie, you know how it is.  Anyways, I took the most recent movie I had watched and counted up how many times the Lords Name was used as a curse word in it. is the website I used to do this, and it is a parental coverage of movies which lists out in details all the "bad" things in movies, including the Lord's Name being used a a curse word. The movie was, "The Time Traveler's Wife" which I had watched with some friends, but I didn't remember any curse words in that movie so I wasn't going to bother, but I checked it anyways. To my shock and surprise, in that movie, the Lord's Name was used as a curse word 7 times! I honestly don't even remember hearing it once. It didn't even affect me or faze me at all, not even once. This broke my heart. How had I gotten to this place of complacency? If I really loved the name of Jesus I would have noticed people slandering His Name, wouldn't I? Was I being deceived or am I making a big deal out of nothing? All kind of thoughts filled my head. I wondered if other people around me were feeling the same way?

I started an experiment. I wanted to see how many times me and my Christian friends had collectively witnessed our Lord's Name being used as a curse word in the last movie we had seen? Now, I am not trying to do this to refelct badly on anyone I know, in fact, a lot of Christians I know don't watch movies at all, or if some of us do watch a movie it would be a movie that is usually considered to be a "good, clean" movie, which is exactly the point I am trying to make; that even in the "good, clean" movies we don't even notice that the Lord's Name is being used as a curse word. I sent them a quick email asking them for the last movie they had just recently watched. I got replies from 20 people, but with 14 movie titles (some had watched the same movie, which I counted each on it's own). I added up the a group of Christians we had witnessed the Lord's Name being used as a curse word 180 times (on the dot). That was in just ONE movie we had all recently watched. Out of curiosity, I added up all the other cuss words in this list of movies and it came out at 933 cuss words. I shutter to think of the total number of times His Name was used as a curse word in all the movies I have seen in my lifetime so far. What's truly far more worse...I shutter to think what the Lord must think of this?

     If I, as a follower of Christ, loves to hear His Name and speak His Name, but was letting that same Name be openly mocked and cursed in His presence and in other Christians presence, and have now come to be truly grieved by that, how much more worse must it be for our Lord to witness this? This really shook me. What's worse? Me actually saying that Name as a curse word out loud or me sitting by and watching it be said as a curse word for my own entertainment? That's a tough one for me to answer. I searched for verses in the Bible about this and the first verse I found was a beautiful one:

"Praise the Lord! Praise the name of the Lord; Praise Him, O servants of the Lord, Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; Sing praises to His name, for it is lovely." -Psalm 135:1,3

     I couldn't help but ask myself, am I praising His name? Are we continually praising His lovely name? We know that He was cursed for us, "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree")" Galatians 3:13, and of those who don't love His Name it says, "the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing..." 1 Corinthians 1:18 and "The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil." John 7:7; "He who hates Me hates My Father also." John 15:23. I know that this is who the Lord is to many people in this dark world; a curse and only a name to be used as a curse word. But to me, to us, what is He? "...He is precious..." 1 Peter 2:7. He is precious. Did you get that?    He is precious to us.   He became a curse for us and in humility became obedient to the point of death, BUT...God has "highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name..." Philippians 2:9. This really makes me smile! :) His Name is above every name!!! Wow. I don't want to keep sitting by while watching His precious Name being slandered for my own entertainment anymore. What, will I lose something by giving up movies that curse His Name? No, I don't think so! In light of what I have been learning of the sacredness of His Name that the Father so loves and has so exalted, I don't see it as worth it anymore.

     If we want to gain Christ in our life, we have to be willing to leave the things of this world and follow Him, do we not? I've learned that the smallest things that we might consider to be "innocent" cause the most destruction over time. Satan is no fool. It's more often the smallest things Satan uses to slowly lead us away from our Lord; to make us stop thinking about Christ, to make us gradually put down our Bible to pick up a TV remote or laptop instead, and to wander in thought during the little time we give to prayer. I think if we would put more of the world away from our lives, we would find ourselves more excited to pick up the Bible and spend time with Him in it, anxious to get on our knees to pray to Him, eager to share the Gospel with a stranger, heartbroken for the lost and wanting to change that, wanting to serve Him for that purpose to show others how wonderful your life is in Him and how wonderful theirs could be too if they ask for forgiveness for their sins and accept Him as their Savior. Our life could be so much more richer in Him if we would just listen to Him, obey His Word and desire to live a life for Him and not for ourselves. This I know - the Lord is the guardian of my heart in all strength comes from Him. "Watch, stand fast in the faith..." 1 Corinthians 16:13. Let's praise His lovely Name, because, truly, it is so lovely and it is so very precious!

"Let those also who love Your name be joyful in You." Psalm 5:11